Friday, September 27, 2013

The King still reigns!

This blog was supposed to half-fill a void left by Professor Paul Campos of the University of Colorado Law School, who had been posting almost daily at Inside the Law School Scam as LawProf.  After nearly five hundred posts, running from August of 2011 to February 2013, LawProf decided to call it quits, citing that the blog had served its purpose (its core message is now conventional wisdom among most) and the personal price that he had paid, as motivating reasons for doing so.

What you may not have known is that Campos is still posting on the left-wing Lawyers, Guns, and Money blog under his real name.

Now, his posts aren't all about legal education, in fact I would say most of them are not.

However, he still makes many good posts on the current fallout surrounding law schools, and the comments are numerous and often fantastic (and you will see some familiar names, like BoredJD, mack, and dybbuk).

Here are two of Campos' newest posts surrounding law schools.  They are a two-part series "about how law schools are dealing with the sharp decline in demand for legal education."

The first is aptly entitled "Field of Nightmares," because it is dealing with the large decline in the University of Iowa's law school enrollment.  The gist of the article is that the law school seems to be maintaining admission standards (as well as tuition increases) in the face of a declining enrollment.  Inside Higher Ed pegs the newest 1L class at 94, compared with 155 last year.

The second post in the series is called "Dealing with the Crash."  Here Campos unleashes his inner LawProf, opening with this:

I got a particularly glossy and garish bit of law porn in my mailbox yesterday, from American University’s Washington College of Law. It highlighted the school’s current one hundred and something million dollar building project, (a live stream of which can be viewed here), which is erecting a voluptuous and gleaming structure among the leafy streets of northwest Washington’s Tinley Park Tenleytown neighborhood.
In this post he notes that AU has a markedly different strategy than Iowa, in maintaining its class size by slashing admission standards.  Later he notes a trick that AU is pulling with higher LSAT applicants in order to game the rankings system.

Anyways, just a brief Friday post highlighting an individual who has contributed a lot to the "scamblog movement."  In his first post I highlighted he says it might be a series of posts, so here's to hoping there are more than just two!



    Hell, even Third Tier Drake only has a first year class size of 113 students. Before we started documenting the overall law school scam, graduating classes were typically 145 students at this commode.

    I emailed one of my former "professors" about this fact. The bitch has yet to respond.

    1. I was once a pre-victim, mesmerized by the "prestige" of the Top 14, Top 25, etc. Before I started reading you guys, I thought Drake was a pretty good option, right up there with McGeorge, Stetson, USF, Marquette, and Syracuse. Not so much any more.

      Thanks for the good, dedicated, and sometimes heroic work. Thousands of disastrous career trajectories have been diverted back to the warm confines of reason.

  2. Campos is a hero - a brave and honest man. His conduct is in meaningful ways analogous to Voltaire's and Solzhenitsyn's - he has spoken truth to power, not out of of self-interest, but out of a desire to reform a system that is destroying (economically) tens of thousands of young peoples' lives.

    He of course has not taken the risks that Voltaire and particularly Solzhenitsyn took, but he has taken a stand that almost no one else in the legal academy had the guts, integrity and courage to do and the aristocrats/commissars in the academy have done their best to make his life miserable.

    Major props to Campos for all he has done.

    PS Upon rereading this, I realize my comparison may seem melodramatic or even hyperbolic, but I do believe the analogy stands even if the system he has stood up to is not nearly as all powerful as Ancient Regime or the Communist party.

    1. I don't think it's too dramatic to compare Campos with heroic figures from the past. Some of it was genuine courage, some of it was a quick mind and native skepticism, some of it was an affinity for concise and energetic prose. Wherever his work came from, it had a profound effect on the massive, parasitic diversion of resources to a few thousand academic pretenders.

      He's a great one, no doubt about it.

  3. Hitchcock called it the MacGuffin.

    The audience that reads this blog might want to read the Post ILSS stuff by Campos, but the tidal wave of old ILSS commenters and critics do not.

  4. Now let's keep the downward momentum going, year after year. Continual cutbacks, continual reductions, constant downward pressure. Negative population growth.

    It's not simply a matter of 'payback' for the law schools, although lord knows they wholly deserve it for dumping the hordes of lawyers on the market.

    It's more about saving the profession of law, which is a part of our system of justice, like it or not. When you call out for closing law schools, you're speaking out in favor of our administration of justice. Just as environmentally conscious companies are awakening to greater responsibility with respect to environmental conditions, socially responsible law schools have a duty to lower their student consumption and their resulting emissions.

    Our court system and trial by jury were the world's model.... but the overbooking of attorney slots has dragged the whole system into the toilet.

    If the airlines operated like law schools, the number of passenger seats would be overbooked by a factor of 4- or 5-fold. Yes, the airlines can get away with a little overbooking when 2 or three seats are involved... but overbooking flights by 4 or 5 times would not be tolerated because the enraged, stranded passengers would become violent and cause havoc at the airports.

    Companies are striving to reduce their carbon footprint. Let's have law schools reduce their butt-print.

    1. graduates ~ emissions

      I find that metaphor captivating and, in a weird way, reassuring.

  5. "...he says it might be a series of posts, so here's to hoping there are more than just two!"

    Here's my very strong agreement with that. The recent posts by Campos have been a rare treat.

    Those idiots are paying a huge price now for ignoring or attacking Campos two years ago. They had every opportunity to take his advice to heart, but no, they had to try for another quick buck as the market crashed around them.

  6. definitely saw this coming. expect 3+3 soon (i.e. 3 years of undergrad + JD + LLM), especially "providing more opportunities for minorities" one-liners

    "The public university and the private law school said the plan is one of several ideas being explored that would tighten the bond between the two institutions, according to a news release issued Friday.

    Dubbed the “Vermont 3-2,” the program is still in the planning stages and is contingent on faculty approval from both schools."

    1. First step in UVM absorbing VLS the way Penn State absorbed Dickinson, U of New Hampshire absorbed Franklin Pierce, UMass absorbed whatever that toilet used to be called, etc. Key is that the scammers' pensions are now backed by the full faith and credit of the state government.

  7. 3+2 programs have been around for over 40 years. Historically, they were a way for bright, motivated students to save a year's tuition in the pursuit of two degrees. Now, I don't know how this particular one is being set up, but the inherent issues with the 3+2 programs are:

    1) Student has to be ready to apply to law school (scores, essays, recommendations, completed the undergraduate major requirements) by essentially the middle of junior year. Most students (in my experience as an academic and career advisor) just aren't ready to make that commitment at that stage of their academic career.

    2) Failure to complete law school generally also meant that you didn't get your BA either. So you could actually do 4-5 years and have zero degrees if you left the program, or discovered that you HATED law school and the law.

    3) This was a way of locking in the very smart, accomplished undergrads (ie, 3.75+gpa and 172 LSAT). The people with those credentials in their junior year generally had other options, so why in the world would they lock into one particular program?

    In my mind, these days 3+2 programs would primarily a way of locking in guaranteed tuition payments and shoring up otherwise declining enrollments.

    1. Another way to create a captive market for naive undergrads is an "honors" program that admits undergrads based on GPA, with no test scores required. I know that SMU has such a program.

      The students are freed from standardized test pressure, but they forfeit every postgraduate option except their present institution. Both parties attain some measure of security by avoiding the open market for admissions. I don't think this does the students any good when interview time comes around.